Wright Brothers

David McCullough's latest book about those flying brothers from Dayton, Ohio is one of the best selling non-fiction titles of 2015. So how was I able to get an interview with him? Do you think it was easy? It was not. Fortunately, I had several things going in my favor for this one. First off I contacted his publicist months before the book's publication and asked about an interview. I explained that I have interviewed David before for his biography of John Adams. His publicist mentioned that David would be coming to Dayton for an event. These were positive developments.

Ohio Weather Forces Innovation In Early Flight

Jul 6, 2015
Dan Patterson Archival Collection

The rainy weather had our aviation commentator Dan Patterson a little frustrated. And he has some thoughts about Dayton weather and the early days of flying.

The great writer, poet and pilot, St. Exuperey wrote in 1939, "A pilot's business is with the wind, and with the stars, with night, with sand, with the sea.  He strives to outwit the forces of nature."

For flyers, the weather is the constant variable.  It determines where you're going to fly, if at all, and this weather lately...makes flying a challenge.

A large mural of Paul Laurence Dunbar greets visitors to the Wright Dunbar Interpretive Center in Dayton.
Jerry Kenney

The birth of famed poet and Dayton native, Paul Laurence Dunbar, will be celebrated this month. Both, Wright Dunbar, Inc. and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park are hosting several events to commemorate and honor the poet.

WYSO spoke with Mary Mathews at Wright Dunbar about the planned events and the legacy Dunbar left for his hometown.  See full event details in the official press release below the interview (WYSO is not responsible for the written content below).

The Wright-B Flyer
Jerry Kenney/Wright State University

Pulitzer Prize winning author, David McCullough, has written a new book about the Wright Brothers – it’s a window into the world of the two young men who gave mankind one of it’s greatest achievements – flight.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A descendant of the Wright brothers is headed to the Ohio Statehouse to defend the Ohio aviators' place in history as the first to make a successful airplane flight.

Amanda Wright Lane is great-grandniece of Wilbur and Orville Wright. She is scheduled to testify Tuesday in favor of a resolution that challenges Connecticut's insistence that one of its aviators beat the Wright brothers to the skies by two years.

Photo of NAHA display

The factory where the Wright Brothers built their original plane will produce another airplane soon - a new replica of the Wright-B Flyer is scheduled to take flight in 2016.

The announcement came from Jay Jabour—president of Wright “B” Flyer, Inc. standing just outside the Wright Company factory in Dayton.

Jabour told the attending press, “The opportunity to build a look-a-like of the 1911 airplane in the original 1911 factory is really exciting.”

courtesy of wright-brothers.org

Republican congressman Mike Turner is advocating for national parks funding to purchase the Wright Brother’s original manufacturing facilities in Ohio, as debate intensifies over rights to the first-in-flight title.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner will be in Dayton today alongside Amanda Wright Lane of the Wright Family Foundation to discuss efforts to purchase the Wright Company Factory buildings and include them in Dayton's aviation history park.

The buildings are the first U.S. facilities specifically designed and built to manufacture airplanes.

Jerry Kenney

Ohio and North Carolina both claim the designation “First in Flight”. The Wright Brothers are from Dayton and made their historic flight in the Outer banks of North Carolina in 1903. Now, the two states are teaming against a new rival - Connecticut.

If you're going to fly an airplane, you've got to have the right look.  An aviator's kit is not complete without the real deal flight jacket - plus the big watch, sunglasses, checklist charts and navigational equipment.  Aviation commentator Dan Patterson explains.

Flying the very early airplanes was a breezy affair.  The Wright brothers' aeroplanes offered no protection from the wind.  Their flying machines were wide open, and they sat on the edge of the lower wing, facing the wind.

courtesy of Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA, USA

Earlier this summer, a pilot named Charlie Schwenker and a wing-walker named Jane Wicker were killed at the Vectren Air Show in Dayton, a tragedy in the midst of an event laden with history. Air Shows as public events began more than 100 years ago. WYSO's aviation commentator Dan Patterson loves that colorful history full of spectacle and heroism.